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Biblical, battle-tested, real-life help for "living by faith in the Son of God" (Galatians 2:20). — Steve Fuller

How God Set Me Free

FreedomDon’t Get The Wrong Idea

It’s not that I have these experiences all the time.

Quite the contrary.

Usually my heart feels pretty dull.  It takes fervent prayer over God’s Word before I even start to feel desire for Him.

But I want to share what happened Thursday, to encourage you with what God can do in a dull heart.

An Ongoing Battle

I’ve written before about how (to my shame) I can be jealous of others with more recognition than me.  And recently I’ve battled this by praying —

If you will be more glorified by having others receive more recognition than me, then that’s what I want.  Because my greatest joy is beholding your glory, not receiving recognition.

But it would help me believe this, if I could see and feel more of your all-satisfying glory now.

So please, Father, through your Holy Son Jesus, by the work of your Spirit, show me your glory.

A Dull Heart

So last Thursday I was heading out to the creek trail to pray about this and other things.  But my heart was dull — not much faith or love or joy in God.

And yet I knew I could come to him as I was, trusting Jesus’ blood and righteousness to make me acceptable (Luke 18:13), and praying for the work of the Spirit to change my heart (Luke 11:13).

So I turned my heart toward the Father.  I told him I was coming in Jesus’ name, cleansed by his blood and clothed with his righteousness.  I thanked him for the forgiveness and welcome I had through his Son.

I knew God provides the Spirit as we hear his word with faith (Gal 3:5), so I started praying over verses that describe God like —

Be still and know that I am God.  I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. (Psa 46:10)

Worthy are you to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things. (Rev 4:11)

To him who loves us and freed us from our sins by his blood. (Rev 1:5)

For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you. (Psa 86:5)

As I prayed over these verses, I felt the Holy Spirit strengthening my faith.  And then — God showed me his glory.

I saw in my mind and felt in my heart the beauty of his sovereignty, supremacy, power, and mercy in Christ.  It was spectacular.

He was real.  He was there.  Perfect majesty.  Stunning power.  Flawless justice.  Breathtaking mercy.

Filled To Overflowing

I felt incomparable pleasure in beholding him.  I had to shout “YES!  You are AWESOME!”

I was so filled and satisfied in his glory that I wanted nothing else.

But then I thought — Wait a minute.  What about recognition?  Do I still desire recognition?

I checked my heart.  Nope.  Didn’t want it.  Didn’t need it.  Didn’t care about it.

I had God the Father and Jesus the Son.

I was full.  I was free.

Comments?  Thoughts?

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(Picture from Everystockphoto by Fábio Pinheiro.)

Category: Jealousy and Envy, Stories from My Life, The Work of the Spirit


11 Responses

  1. Sarah Wright says:

    I’m continually amazed at your vulnerability. Thank you for being a true, real, honest leader… it’s SO much easier to follow someone who I can identify with than to follow someone who always seems to “do it right.”

  2. Mark says:

    Never left a comment before, probably anywhere…but I wanted to say how happy I am for you that you glimpsed the majesty of God. I also had a similar experience years ago but time has dulled the experience (my fault not His). Your writing has brought back the memory of this time in my life and just when I needed it. Thank you.

  3. Lorraine Kashdan says:

    One of the things I feel is most important about this experience is where you he said:
    “I could come to him as I was, trusting Jesus’ blood and righteousness to make me acceptable”, when the teaching of the ransom is taught well and anchored into the minds of believers everything is possible because no matter how wretched or failed they feel they know they can approach covered by his righteousness.

    I pray that all of the churches of Christ might teach this doctrine well because it holds the key to people at all stages to suddenly unlock doors to places in the higher heavens at once. Religions which do not put enough emphasis on this grace may find themselves innadertantly closing the door of people’s minds to the possibility of growth or reconciliation.

    No matter how far away from him we feel it is our humility and faith (which in his case manifested as determination) that will release his glory to us.

    I agree that being in his glory overshadows negativity and jealousy in us, ironically we often feel so guilty about this jealousy that we don’t go in the first place! But here in God’s prescence is the everything we need – if we let him be.

    This story will stay with me thanks.

    • Steve Fuller says:

      Isn’t it amazing that because of Jesus Christ we can come to the Father as we are, trusting Him to forgive us, welcome us, and love us?

      I find that so encouraging, and am glad you do, too.

      In Christ,

      Steve Fuller

  4. Kit says:

    Steve, I so agree with what Sarah shared. Your transparency makes it a joy to hear what the Lord is doing in your life and it allows the Holy Spirit to reach in and minister to those areas of our lives. You are a blessing. Thnx, Kit

  5. Anonymous says:

    Thanks Steve for you honesty and transparency about the areas in your life where you recognize sin. It is refreshing to read your reflections.

    The thing that struck me when reading this article is the irony that you had a moment of feeling jealousy towards others with more recognition than you when in reality you probably have no idea how much your life and blog and words have affected and changed lives. I have recently stumbled across your blog and in the last few weeks I have told at least 5 people about how your pointing me back to truth has given me strength and comfort. I know too, that at least 2 of those people have had their faith strengthened and are back to praying and trusting in the promises of God. Your pointing us to truth, Steve, is an ever-multiplying work and God is using you more than I think you realize.

    I’m not telling you this to flatter you but to point out how we so often misjudge how God is working. I am not sure what recognition you were tempted to desire but as I read your story, it resonated with me because I wondered how often God is using us and we don’t even know He is at work! So often praise and recognition, the very thing that we long for, can be our undoing! As with so many of wrong desires, we can be so grateful that God doesn’t give them to us! Thank you Lord for always knowing what is best for us.

    Be encouraged, Steve. God has spoken to me through His Word which you have brought to me and countless others through your blogging. Thank you for sharing and caring and for allowing God to minister to us through you.

  6. Lizzy says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your struggles with jealousy. I’m a missionary, and my struggles with jealousy have been weighing me down for a few months now, but I really believe that I am going to be able to find freedom through reading your blog and through the scriptures that you talked about. It’s so encouraging to hear that I’m not the only person in the world (especially in ministry) that struggles with this. Thank you!

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